The Pirates Are Winners: It's over. The Pirates finally have a winning season and will most likely make the playoffs as either the division winner or wild card. Beyond the Boxscore looks at how the Pirates were built. In short the Pirates were built by making smart draft choices, shrewd trades, and smart free agent moves. One of the Pirates smart draft choices was Gerrit Cole who pitched brilliantly on Monday in Texas to give the Pirates their first winning season since 1992.
Don't Mess With Buck Or His Guys: On Monday night Joe Girardi picked the wrong manager to fight. Girardi thought the Orioles third base coach was stealing the Yankees signs and yelled at him. Well Buck Showalter will never put up with that kind of crap and gave Girardi a throat slash gesture proving once and for all that you don't mess with Buck or his guys.
Yu Darvish and Hard Luck Loses: I talked about the Pirates winning their 82nd game with Gerrit Cole as the winning pitcher. Well the losing pitcher of that game was Yu Darvish and the final score was 1-0. That is Darvish's third 1-0 loss on the year putting him on a list that you don't want to be on, the hard luck loses list. Roger Craig leads the list with 5 1-0 loses in 1963, but he was on those dreadful early 60's Mets teams that lost to everyone.
Spit and the Benches Clear: Ah some more unwritten rule bullshit. This time involving outstanding Marlins rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez. In what will be his last start of the season got in a tussle because Evan Gattis admired a home run and then Fernandez hit a home run himself and than spat by third baseman Chris Johnson. Well of course the Braves weren't going to let this go and the benches cleared. To Fernandez's credit, he admitted he was in the wrong.
The Wild Card Makes Things Interesting: MLB's Mike Bauman argues why in his column this week why the 2nd wild card was added and why it's successful. The 2nd wild card makes baseball interesting to the final day and instead of one of two teams fighting for a playoff spot you have three or four teams fighting for a final spot. Also as Bauman argues, both of the 2nd wild cards won last year in the one-game playoffs which also adds interest.
Yost Kills the Royals: The Royals had a chance to make themselves interesting and vault into the wild card fight in the AL and then Ned Yost happened. The funny thing about Ned Yost fucking up is that everyone knew he would screw up the Royals in September with his managerial skills and the fact three different people felt compelled to write about how badly Yost fucked up Monday's game.
Should the Yankees Re-Sign Cano?: Robinson Cano is 30-years old and will be a free agent after the season. Sweet Spot took a look at Cano's career and compared it to other 2nd baseman and their careers after turning 31. The conclusion was that a contract for Cano isn't a bad idea, but like all contracts you have to be careful with length. Most 2nd baseman are never quite as productive after they turn 34 or 35.
Game of the Weekend: A look at the best games and pitching matchups of the weekend.
Friday, Kansas City at Detroit, Chen vs. Verlander: Feels like the Tigers-Royals have played a ton of games against each other in the past month. The Royals obviously need this series more than the Tigers. The Royals are 2 games back in the wild card and a couple of victories in Detroit could be a really good thing for them. Is Chen the pitcher though to help them win and gain ground in the wild card? Can they score enough versus Verlander? I've doubted the Royals before and they've came back but I don't see them winning this game.
Saturday, New York at Boston, Sabathia vs. Lester: Once again the Yankees need this series more than the Red Sox because of the wild card. Yankees are going to need a 7-8 inning start from Sabathia because their bullpen was a mess last weekend against the Red Sox. If this turns into a bullpen game for the Yankees, then their lights will be knocked out.
Sunday, Chicago at Pittsburgh, Wood vs Liriano: Another division/wild card game of importance for the Pirates. Pittsburgh looked really good in Texas after looking terrible in St. Louis. They have to be careful in this series though because the Cubs have a history at knocking out potential playoff teams (see: 2010 San Diego Padres).